Child of the Stars
Koriand’r is the second of three children born to Tamaran’s ruling family. Komand’r, her older sister, was born crippled by Tamaranean standards. Unable to fly, she was deemed incapable to eventually rule the world as its Queen. The royal line was instead handed down to her younger sister, Koriand’r.
Komand’r resented Koriand’r’s eventual ascension and hated her sister. A deep rivalry grew between the two with Komand’r plotting to harm her sister in any way possible.
In time, the sisters were sent for training to the Warlords of Okaara. There they would learn not only the art of combat, but the rules for governing. Tamaran was a planet of conflicting emotions. They embraced peace and love, but were quick to anger and fierce in war. King Myand’r’s silent hope was that his children would rebel against their dreaded enemy and free their planet where their father could not.
Kory relates her troubled childhood in NEW TEEN TITANS #3 .
The conflict between sisters grew, and Komand’r finally left Tamaran and joined with her planet’s greatest enemies, the Citadel. The Citadel already ruled the other 21 Vegan worlds, and only Tamaran was permitted its freedom. Until now. The Citadel invaded peaceful Tamaran and quickly crippled its defenses. They demanded that King Myand’r turn over his daughter, Koriand’r, to the Citadel in exchange for peace. Myand’r accepted. His daughter would be sacrificed, but the paradise that was Tamaran would endure.
Komand’r banished her sister into humiliating slavery for six harsh years. But during it all Koriand’r never gave up hope.
Eventually, Koriand’r and Komand’r were captured by the Psions, a race of soulless alien scientists who experimented on living beings. In an effort to see how much solar energy the body would endure before being destroyed, the Psions subjected the two sisters to endless grueling experiments. Unknown to the Psions, the Tamaranean body was capable of absorbing solar power – which gave them the ability to fly. Instead of destroying their captives, the Psions gave the sisters the ability to absorb the energy and then expel it in ferocious destructive blasts called Starbolts.
Kory gets her starbolt powers! As seen in TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS (mini-series) #4 .
The sisters escaped and Koriand’r eventually made it to Earth where she was freed by a group of young heroes who would come to call themselves The New Teen Titans. With nowhere to call home, Koriand’r adopted the nom-de-guerre of Starfire and joined the Titans to defeat Raven’s demonic father, Trigon. Koriand’r made a strong first impression on Robin, when she absorbed Earth language through a passionate kiss with the Teen Wonder. Initially denying his feelings, Robin soon came to realize how much he cared for her. The couple proved a perfect match, as Starfire’s uninhibited personality offered a fitting contrast to Robin’s cool demeanor.
ABOVE: Raven gathers the New Teen Titans to defeat her evil father
in NEW TEEN TITANS #1 .
BELOW: A classic kiss in NEW TEEN TITANS #2 .
Disrupting Starfire newfound life, Komand’r returned to kidnap her unsuspecting sister. Now adopting the name Blackfire, Komand’r delivered Starfire into the hands of a brutal Citadel leader known as Lord Damyn. Blackfire’s true objective was to secure the throne of the Citadel homeworld, which would give her great power throughout the Vegan Star System.
Although Blackfire succeeded in slaying Lord Damyn, her leadership was challenged by Damyn’s chief advisor. He then pitted Starfire against Blackfire in a duel to the death, ostensibly to decide Komand’r’s succession and the fate of Tamaran. The death-duel resulted in Blackfire’s seeming demise, and secured Tamaran’s freedom. Starfire was then reunited briefly with her parents and brother before returning to Earth with her teammates.
When Dick Grayson retired his Robin persona, Starfire helped him ease through a brief identity crisis. Their love only strengthened as Grayson emerged as a more confident hero known as Nightwing.
Komand’r and Starfire battle for control of Tamaran in
NEW TEEN TITANS ANNUAL #1 .
A Marriage Of State
Later, Koriand’r was mysteriously summoned back to Tamaran. Nightwing and Jericho decided to accompany her, both suspecting something was amiss. Upon arriving, King Myand’r revealed that civil war had ravaged the planet, and that according to the terms of the peace settlement, Koriand’r must marry Captain Karras, the heir of the ruler of the southern states of Kalapatt. Although Starfire saw this marriage as a mere political formality, Nightwing maintained that things would not be the same between them if the wedding transpired.
Koriand’r and Karras went through with the marriage to preserve the peace, causing Nightwing to depart for Earth. When Koriand’r learned the Tamaraneans preferred her sister’s rule over King Myand’r’s, she realized that Tamaran was no longer her home. At that moment, Kory told Prince Karras that she did not love him, and departed Tamaran for Earth, hoping to salvage her relationship with Dick Grayson.
Prince Karras and Kory prepare to marry in NEW TEEN TITANS [second series] #17 .
Arriving back on Earth, Dick Grayson was pleased to learn that Koriand’r did not take the traditional Tamaranean wedding vows. The couple then strengthened their relationship by moving in together.
Soon Queen Komand’r summoned Starfire back to Tamaran to resolve a conflict involving Karras’ sister, Xyannis. Unknown to Komand’r, the unscrupulous Xyannis was manipulating the Tamaraneans into defending her criminal actions. When Karras deduced the truth, he was murdered by his sister’s lover, Zorgan. As Karras lay dying, he bid a tearful good-bye to Starfire and his true love, Taryia.
As the Titans celebrated the anniversary of their team’s formation, individual members were hunted and captured by the mysterious Wildebeest Society. Deathstroke, Nightwing, Troia, Pantha, Phantasm, Arella and Red Star joined forces to track them down. Upon locating the captured Titans, the heroes were shocked to learn the identity of the Wildebeest leader was their own teammate, Jericho, who was now corrupted by Trigon’s demonic energies. During the final showdown with the Wildebeest Society, Jericho and Raven were seemingly slain, while Arella and Danny Chase died and merged with the purged souls of Azarath to become the new Phantasm.
The group entered into tumultuous times after mourning their fallen, as members came and went while others suffered great personal losses. Even Dick’s once-solid relationship with Starfire became strained as problems in Gotham demanded his attention. Impulsively, Dick proposed marriage to the tempestuous Tamaranean, desperately hoping to secure their relationship. The two almost wed, but the ceremony was interrupted by Raven, now reborn as an evil avatar of her father, Trigon. Starfire was implanted with a demon “seed” by Raven, which caused her to leave Earth and go on a spiritual journey.
The Evil Raven disrupts Kory and Dick’s wedding plans in New Titans #100 .
When Starfire returned to Tamaran, she met and fell in love with a brave general named Ph’yzzon. After a quick courtship,Koriand’r and Ph’yzzon married. But the newlyweds were soon embroiled in an interplanetary conflict within the Vegan Star System, incited by Evil Raven. Starfire enlisted the help of the New Titans as well as Cyborg, whose consciousness had been absorbed by the alien Technis. Despite their assistance, the loss was great – as the entire planet of Tamaran was destroyed along with the Technis.
Evil Raven’s motives soon became clear. Her true target was Starfire, since the last vestige of Raven’s pure soul lay dormant within her. Upon realizing this, Raven’s white soul self emerged from Starfire, helping the Titans to destroy Evil Raven utterly. Now free, Raven’s pure soul was reborn in a golden spirit form.
Tamaran is destroyed in NEW TITANS #128 .
Starfire and Ph’yzzon then gathered the surviving Tamaraneans who were off-world during the explosion, and vowed to rebuild their culture on a planet dubbed New Tamaran. But when the Sun Eater ravaged the galaxy, New Tamaran lay in its path. An alien woman named Dusk tried to warn the Tamaraneans of the impending doom, but Queen Komand’r was too short sighted and xenophobic to listen. Starfire believed Dusk, but Komand’r labeled her sister a traitor and banished her. Starfire left her new homeworld, unable to prevent its destruction. New Tamaran was engulfed by the Sun Eater, along with many of the remaining Tamaraneans and brave General Ph’yzzon.
With the loss of her husband and her home, Starfire roamed the galaxy.
In the far reaches of space, an alien threat loomed – one that would soon reunite the Titans of past and present. Having collected a planet-size assortment of technological debris, Victor Stone journeyed to Earth to turn its moon into a new Technis world and populate it with his Titans allies. The JLA and the Titans first clashed, then united, eventually freeing Victor from alien influence. Following this encounter, the original five Titans decided to reorganize the team, inviting five other members to join as well, including Starfire.
Nightwing and Starfire sort things out in JLA/TITANS #3 .
Starfire often found herself at odds with her fellow teammates. As in the past, her warrior ways conflicted with the group’s ideologies. She was also very tentative around Dick Grayson, as they never had closure to their relationship.
After receiving an urgent summons from her brother, Starfire and her fellow Titans became embroiled in a struggle between the remaining Tamaraneans and their hated enemies, the Gordanians, for possession of the planet Karna. Tempest – using his ambassador skills – offered a solution: the Tamaraneans and Gordanians could share the planet. The Gordanians would allow the Tamaraneans to stay. And in exchange, the Tamaraneans would teach the Gordanians new trades outside of slavery, thus bolstering their reputation in the galaxy.
As both Both races agreed to these terms, Koriand’r elected to remain on Karna and rebuild the culture of her people as Princess. She bid a tearful farewell to Dick Grayson via a communiqué relay – telling him she would always love him.
Shortly afterward, tragedy struck once again. During the “Our Worlds At War” crisis, a series of Imperiex probes destroyed Karna. This marked the third Tamaranean homeworld that was destroyed. To avenge her people, Starfire returned to earth to aid her friends against the Imperiex invasion.
Starfire helps restart the Teen Titans in TEEN TITANS (third series) #1 .
Soon after, a conglomerate known as Optitron offered to sponsor the Titans and Young Justice after summoning them to San Francisco. Before any decisions could be made, a mysterious cybernetic girl known as Indigo emerged from the future. Unwittingly, she somehow activated a rogue Superman android, seemingly resulting in the deaths of Troia and Omen. At Troia’s funeral, Nightwing disbanded the Titans.
Members of Young Justice, especially Wonder Girl, felt responsible for the tragic deaths. This led Wonder Girl, Robin, Impulse and Superboy to form a new group of Teen Titans under the guidance of the more experienced Cyborg, Starfire and Beast Boy.
Starfire later left the Titans and joined the Outsiders at the request of Jade. And later, the Outsiders – along with Teen Titans – eventually rescued the resurrected Donna Troy on New Chronus. When Troy gathered together a team of heroes for a space mission during the Infinite Crisis, she recruited Starfire. Although the mission was successful, Starfire was lost in space with Adam Strange and Animal Man for almost a year.
The Titans Reunited
After reclaiming Titans Island on the East River, Cyborg set out to create an East Coast Titans team. But the team was brutally massacred by an unseen evil force. Soon, Titans members past and present were attacked by demonic entities across the globe. Raven, sensing Trigon’s presence once again, called upon her former Titans allies to defeat her fiendish father.
But after investigating, the Titans learned that Trigon himself was not behind the attacks. The bestial assaults were actually orchestrated by Raven’s three half brothers – Jacob, Jared and Jesse. Working together as a team, the Titans thwarted the Sons of Trigon and prevented Trigon’s invasion plan. Following this adventure, Starfire decided to join her former teammates – and the Titans were together as a team once again!
The reunion was short lived, as personal problems forced each member to drift away from the team. At this time, Starfire found a new calling with the Justice League – where she fought alongside former Titans Donna Troy, Cyborg and Dick Grayson (who had temporarily assumed the identity of Batman).
Komand’r sums up her sisterly bond in R.E.B.E.L.S. #28 .
R.E.B.E.L.S. With A Cause
Starfire then decided to strike out on her own and return to the stars. There, she discovered R.E.B.E.L.S. leader Vril Dox terraforming the planet Rann in the same location Tamaran once stood. When news of this initiative reached an enraged Blackfire, she and her troops arrived to oppose Vril’s R.E.B.E.L.S. quite fiercely. But the tide of battle was turned by Starfire, who helped quell her sister’s rage once again. Despite Blackfire’s ruthless methods, her strong leadership kept her nomadic Tamaraneans united. The quick-witted Vril Dox used this to his advantage, drafting a peace treaty which allowed the Tamaraneans to occupy the uninhabited southern continent of Rann.
Although her wandering people found a home at last, Starfire herself was directionless. She then decided to join Vril Dox’s intergaltic team of R.E.B.E.L.S., discovering a new group of comrades-in-arms. There, she entered into a casual romantic liason with Captain Comet.
Powers & Abilities
Koriand’r’s Tamaranean heritage allows her to absorb solar energy and convert it to the power of flight. The Psion experiment gave her the destructive Starbolt force. Starfire is also incredibly strong, as powerful as a dozen Earth men. She is a skilled warrior whose powers and emotional intensity make her a fearful foe.
A 2003 commission of Starfire by Mike Wieringo.
DC Comics Presents #26 : featuring a 16-page preview to New Teen Titans! The mysterious empath Raven invades Dick Grayson’s dreams and shows him a glimpse of his near-future as part of the Teen Titans. First appearances of Raven, Cyborg & Starfire. Beast Boy now known as Changeling.
New Teen Titans #1 : After invading his dreams, the mysterious empath Raven incites Dick Grayson to form the New Teen Titans for the eventual purpose of defeating her demonic father, Trigon; Kid Flash joins only after Raven uses her powers to make him fall in love with her; Raven, Robin, Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, Changeling (formerly Beast Boy) and Victor “Cyborg” Stone unite to save Princess Koriand’r (soon to be known as Starfire) from Gordanian slavers.
New Teen Titans #16 : Starfire begins a whirlwind romance with a young man named Franklin Crandall, unaware that he is actually a hireling of a member of the H.I.V.E., sent to learn the Titans’ secrets. After their rescue of a model friend of Donna Troy’s from mobsters, the Titans accompany Starfire to meet her beau, only to discover that he has been murdered by his employer after a falling-out. Wonder Girl prevents Starfire from taking vengeance by killing the H.I.V.E., agent, who is later eliminated by his own associates for disobeying orders. Though Robin and Wonder Girl discover Crandall’s true motives, they mercifully do not enlighten the grieving Starfire.
Tales of the New Teen Titans #4 : 4-issue mini series. As the Titans take a break on a camping trip, the new members reveal their origins. The origin of Starfire.
New Teen Titans #23-25, New Teen Titans Annual #1 : Princess Koriand’r’s evil sister, Komand’r, captures Starfire and takes the name “Blackfire;” Blackfire seizes control of the Citadel and attempts to usurp control of Tamaran and the Vegan system. The two sisters battle on Tamaran, and the Titans team up with the Omega Men to bring Starfire back to Earth. Robin confesses his love for Starfire. First appearance of Blackfire in issue #23. Starfire is reunited with her parents and brother Ryand’r in New Teen Titans Annual #1. New Teen Titans Annual #1 features the origin of X’Hal. First Appearance of Adrian Chase in issue #23.
New Teen Titans (second series) #10-11 : Captain Karras is on his way to Earth in order to bring Princess Koriand’r back home to Tamaran. First Appearance of Karras in issue #10.
New Teen Titans (second series) #15-18 : Komand’r has incited civil war on Tamaran, and King Myand’r tells Starfire that she must marry the Prince of Tamaran’s southern continent in order to stop this mayhem; Captain Karras reveals that he is the man that Starfire must marry. Starfire and Nightwing argue about her upcoming wedding; Komand’r gathers her forces to take over Tamaran, and captures Nightwing, Jericho and Starfire’s brother, Ryand’r;A distraught Starfire heads toward the capital city of Tamarus for her wedding. Ryand’r, Jericho and Nightwing escape from Komand’r and arrive in Tamarus in time to see Starfire and Prince Karras marry; Komand’r attacks right after the wedding, captures Nightwing, Jericho and Karras, and has the Royal Family sent to Okaara; Komand’r attempts to have the Royal Family eliminated and believes she is successful. After escaping Komand’r yet again, Nightwing, Karras and Jericho travel to Okaara, where Dick tells Starfire to forget that she ever knew him; Nightwing and Jericho return to Earth.
New Teen Titans (second series) #22-23 : Komand’r learns that her family is still alive and orders them to return to Tamaran within 12 hours; Starfire immediately begins her counter-coup,bringing war to her own planet; Koriand’r brings her assault to Tamarus, then learns that the Tamaraneans prefer Komand’r’s rule over King Myand’r’s; The two sisters battle until their father intercedes, declaring that Komand’r shall remain ruler of Tamaran; The Council of Elders insists that the Royal Family rule at Komand’r’s side; Starfire realizes that Tamaran is no longer her home, tells Prince Karras that she does not love him, and departs Tamaran for Earth.
New Teen Titans (second series) #34 : When Nightwing stops a gun-toting husband from shooting his wife, he realizes how much he loves Starfire.
New Teen Titans (second series) #39 : Starfire convinces Raven that the empath does not love Dick Grayson in the manner that she thinks she does; Dick moves in with Koriand’r and is happy to learn that Koriand’r and Prince Karras did not take traditional Tamaranean wedding vows.
New Titans Annual #6 : Karras’ sister Xyannis and her lover Zorgan are shown as wanton criminals. Fleeing authorities, they travel to Tamaran and manipulate the Tamaraneans into doing their fighting for them. Queen Komand’r. summons her sister, Koriand’r to return to Tamaran to aid them. Karras eventually discovers their deception and tries to stop them from extorting power with a bomb threat. In a heated confrontation, both Karras, his sister Xyannis and her lover Zorgan all meet their deaths. As Karras lay dying, he bid a tearful good-bye to Starfire and his love, Taryia. Taryia reveals she is pregnant with Karras’ child. Death of Karras.
New Titans #99 : Nightwing proposes to Starfire.
New Titans #100 : Nightwing and Starfire’s wedding is interrupted by the return of Raven, now a villainous avatar of Trigon. Starfire is viciously attacked and implanted with a demon “seed” by Raven, as Dick Grayson watches helplessly.
New Titans #114 : Arsenal agrees to the Titans under government jurisdiction. Minion’s home planet is destroyed by an unseen force. Nightwing, Starfire, Pantha, Red Star, Baby Wildebeest and Flash decline membership for the time being. Only Changeling, who has been secretly corrupted by Raven, accepts membership.
Showcase ’94 #11 : Takes place following the events of New Titans #114. Starfire thinks about leaving earth as she encounters a suicidal man wielding a gun. As she intervenes, Raven’s soul self mysteriously manifests from Starfire and soothes the man’s pains. After emotionally healing the man, Starfire chastises the police and departs. Continued in the pages of Darkstars #26-27, where Starfire leaves earth.
New Titans #127-130 : After Changeling escapes from S.T.A.R. Labs, the team is reunited with Victor Stone, now a computer form known as Cyberion. The Titans aid Starfire, who is danger from evil Raven (now resurrected once more). Evil Raven is trying to destroy her good self (which lay dormant in the body of Starfire). To ferret out Starfire, evil Raven incites a conflict in the Vegan star system. Tamaran is destroyed, killing many inhabitants including Starfire’s parents. A general in the Tamaranean fleet named Ph’yzzon aids the Titans and reveals he and Starfire are married. The Titans are able to destroy evil Raven utterly, and restore good Raven into a new spiritual golden body. Starfire decides to rebuild her culture on a new planet; many Tamaraneans were off-world during the explosion – enough to settle on a new planet dubbed New Tamaran. First Appearance of General Ph’yzzon in issue #127. Reveals he married Starfire in issue #129. Raven tells Starfire she is with child in issue #130, although this is never acknowledged in the future. Death of King Myand’r and Queen Luand’r, and most of the inhabitants of Tamaran in issue #128, where Tamaran explodes.
Final Night Preview : As the Sun Eater ravages the galaxy, the planet of New Tamaran lay in its path. An alien woman named Dusk tries to warn the Tamaraneans, but Queen Komand’r [Blackfire] is too short sighted and xenophobic to listen. Starfire believes her and tried to warn her fellow Tamaraneans. She attempts to communicate with the alien, even as her sister and husband Ph’yzzon are planning an attack on whoever had done this to their source of energy. At some point, the relationship between Koriand’r and Ph’yzzon must have changed; for she remarked when he took off with his fleet to go up against whatever they faced, “While ours was a marriage more of politics than passion, I was never more proud of my husband”. Komand’r labels her sister Koriand’r a traitor and banishes her. Starfire leaves the planet and is unable to prevent its destruction. New Tamaran is destroyed by the Sun Eater – along with many of the remaining Tamaraneans and Koriand’r’s new husband, Ph’yzzon. Koriand’r travels to earth to warn the heroes. This story was originally produced as a 6-page prelude to the FINAL NIGHT crossover, and given away free. It was later included in the FINAL NIGHT trade paperback.
JLA/Titans: the Technis Imperative #1-3 [December 1998 to February 1999]: The original Titans were reunited in a mini series that also featured the Justice League of America. With a story by Devin Grayson and Phil Jimenez, and art by Phil Jimenez, everyone who had ever been a Titans was reunited. Former Titan Vic Stone threatened to carry out his Technis Imperative and turn the earth’s moon into a new Technis world. The JLA and Titans first clashed, then united to save the earth and Vic Stone. The mini series was designed as a primer to restart the Titans series with the five original members (Nightwing, Troia, Flash, Arsenal and Tempest) as the core.
Titans #1-2 : Following close on the heels of the events in the JLA/TITANS miniseries, the original Titans decide to set up shop, rebuilding their headquarters (a new Titans Tower) and enlisting a second, non-core group of Titans to help them. And the entire, 10-member roster gets a workout when the team is attacked by the reformed H.I.V.E.! First appearance of Damien Darhk, H.I.V.E. II and H.I.V.E. Mistress II in issue #1. First appearance of Titans Tower II.
Titans #17-19 : Starfire and the team head into space to help her people, the Tamaraneans, settle a new world and wind up mixed up in a major star war. The Titans realize they’re backing the wrong side by allying themselves with Starfire’s people. Tempest is able to organize a peace between the Tamaranean and Gordanian outer-space armadas. Starfire quits the team to lead her people on their new shared homeworld, Karna. Meanwhile, back on earth, Arsenal learns some shocking secrets about Damage – that Grant was abused as a child by his foster father. Damage quits the team and begins emotional healing at the reservation Arsenal grew up in. Plus, Dick Grayson reveals his identity to Jesse in an attempt to persuade her to rejoin the team. Starfire and Damage leave the team.
Teen Titans #1 : What do teenage super-heroes do on the weekends? They hang with the Teen Titans! The invitations go out to a handful of reluctant heroes: Superboy, Robin, Impulse and Wonder Girl. Walk into the new Titans Tower with Cyborg and Starfire as they gather together the next generation of Titans.
Titans #1-4 : After Cyborg’s Titans East team is brutally massacred by an unseen evil force, Titans members are attacked by demonic entities around the globe. Raven, sensing Trigon’s presence once again, calls upon her former Titans allies to defeat her fiendish father. But the Titans discover that the bestial assaults were actually orchestrated by Raven’s three demon half brothers – Jacob, Jared and Jesse. Using Raven as a doorway, the Sons of Trigon open a portal to the desolate realm where a weakened Trigon awaited. The brothers then betray their own father by siphoning whatever small power was left within him. In the wake of this battle, the Titans – Nightwing, Troia, Flash, Red Arrow, Raven, Cyborg, Starfire and Beast Boy – decide to become a team again.
R.E.B.E.L.S. #15 : Straight from the pages of TITANS, Starfire joins our merry band just in time for super-genius Vril Dox to pick up the pieces from last issue’s climactic battle with Starro the Conqueror. First on his agenda: rebuild his interplanetary police squad, L.E.G.I.O.N.
R.E.B.E.L.S. #16-17 : A newly re-powered Blackfire learns Vril Dox has authorized for a new planet Rann to be terraformed where Tamaran once stood. After an enraged Blackfire battles Starfire and the R.E.B.E.L.S., Dox allows the Tamaraneans to occupy the uninhabited southern continent of this new planet Rann.
A 2004 commission from George Pérez.
George Pérez on Starfire
[from Focus on George Pérez]
Pérez: “The Starfire character was something that Marv did want to do, he wanted to have a strong female alien character. […] I worked first from a visual point of view, devising the feline look to Koriand’r, off the basically Red Sonja look at first. Joe Orlando was the one who came in after seeing the original drawing and saying, “Make her hair a little longer,” and little did he know what he wrought. And, the Raven and Cyborg characters, like Starfire, were designed once. They were all designed once, like Raven’s costume, which was a slight modification of my own choice. But they said, “Design a few designs per character.” To me, that seemed like work. So I designed them once, and I figured if they didn’t like it, then they could show me what they did want. That’s a lot easier than trying to second-guess them without really knowing if the first one was all right or not. “
Starfire Style Guide Art by George Pérez.
The Art of Starfire
[From Amazing Heroes #50]
George discussed the Titans, as well as how they are artistically-interpreted. Starfire, who is a particular fan favorite, is the free spirit of the team. She’s a contributing factor in the miraculous maturing of Dick Grayson. Koriand’r is nymph, stoic, and warrior laced into one being; a wild sexuality, gentle innocence, and samurai toughness which all combine into one of the most quick-thinking, authentically optimistic, and well-received characters in contemporary literature. The product of a culture where total honesty is the creed, the duplicity of human behavior is a constant wonder for her. She is each of us, without our troublesome masks and fears.
A standout of Pérez’s artistry is his ability to render such an emotionally rooted being without the traditional focus of eyes. “My one advantage, particularly here, is body language. I’ve been commended for that, and it’s been a gratifying feeling. It’s been such a subtle build-up that I hadn’t really noticed it, until other people were mentioning it. The characters move in the way the characters should move, in contrast to everyone having interchangeable poses.
“There’s also a little secret in handling Starfire, and it’s one that makes her face work. If you go back to the Blackfire storyline you’ll notice, since Kory is-in a lot of cases-very angry, her hairline is slightly higher, so her eyebrows can be seen. When she’s in that soft, demure, sad or happy type look, her eyebrows aren’t shown at all because the curls are so low and they curl upwards; thus making an ‘upward movement on the eyes right where they meet into the nose area to the forehead. Gives the eyes a slightly upraised, innocent look. So the curls end up softening her face, and they’re swept back any time I don’t want her to have the soft look.
“In working the character to that degree, no one notices it, because her face seems to work. Marv never noticed it until I pointed it Out. It’s those wonderful curls, basically a larger version of Dick Grayson’s old curls [laughs] which make up the soft look. The only thing the eyes lack is the fact that they just can’t show direction as far as where she’s looking. As tar as expression, it’s absolutely no hindrance. The fact that they’re so round gives her a feline look. which works for her.”
Starfire Who’s Who art, by George Pérez
[from Comics Interview #50, 1987]
ANDY: When you started developing the individual characters, the individual faces of the TEEN TITANS, who did you base the characters on? You’ve often said that Changeling was a young Mickey Rooney. But who were the others in real life?
GEORGE: In real life, let’s see now… Koriand’r, she’s so many characters I’ve used: Marilyn Monroe, my first wife, oh gosh, there was a stripper somewhere, ….. . (Laughter.) She was so many.
[From Comics Scene #7]
Pérez stopped to laugh and then admitted that Starfire was created as the group’s sex symbol. “When the book developed a fan following and we knew the characters meant something to these people. We knew Starfire couldn’t just remain a bubblehead, she has to have a character of her own which Marv developed wonderfully.”
As fans may have noticed, Pérez has a fondness for drawing women. As he puts it, he enjoys drawing “healthy” women, but over the years he has refined his drawing style and “the women have thinned out finally, because they were too thunder-thighed in the beginning. Starfire is the most zaftig of the group. Wonder Girl is very attractive, she has a starlet’s figure; she is perfectly assembled. I find her the most alluring, most satisfying woman in the lot. She is the one Titan I would most like to meet.
Starfire: Fun To Draw!
[George Pérez Interview from Wizard #35 1994]
Q: Did you have a favorite among the Titans?
A: My favorite to draw was Starfire, because she was made for any young male artist to enjoy.
Starfire by Jose Garcia-Lopez
Marv Wolfman on Starfire
Starfire Q & A from Comics Journal #79-80
DECKER: The characterization of Kory – … I’m not sure how you pronounce that name.
WOLFMAN: Kor-e-an-door. Spelled differently, it’s a spice. It’s the first time I’m revealing it. C-o-r-i-a-n-d-e-r, and I adapted it
DECKER: Her characterization is interesting in that she’s almost a very well-developed nymphet.
WOLFMAN: Yes, that’s part of it. She also is very innocent and she’s been tortured and has had a lot of other problems, but it hasn’t affected her basic personality. I assume there was a point that you were going to make about her being a nymphet, though she doesn’t jump into bed with everybody.
DECKER: But still she’s an interesting character in that we haven’t seen many like her in comics. An intelligently done nymphet. There’s no real point about her I want to make, l’m just trying to run through the characters.
WOLFMAN: Of the characters in the Titans, the three new ones I created, I tried to give the most background, the back story as they say in television and movies. In the case of Cyborg, it’s a more realistic handling. Certainly Raven and Starfire are science fiction and therefore pretty much unrealistic in terms of things that could have happened. I like all three consequently because there are actual things to play off of. I tried to do the same thing with [Tomb of] Dracula and all the characters in there. To give them full lives before they actually entered the book. Kory’s life comes out in the next four issues.
The Starfire storyline on Tamaran, which is the last one of the mini-series, almost all of which I had worked out even before the first issue came out. I knew what she had done, how she had escaped, how she was tortured, all the things with her sister. I wanted someone who had gone through all this and still emerged pretty much an optimist, someone who doesn’t necessarily see the pessimistic view of things, even though she’s warlike. It’s a strange dichotomy, and I sort of took some of it from a Japanese handling from someone who could love the beauty of nature and then turn around and slice someone’s head off in the same moment, and not see the contrast between the two.
DECKER: In the first couple of issues she turns up and the bad guys are after her, and the Titans pretty much rescue her, but she hangs around after that, she doesn’t seem to have any other place to go.
WOLFMAN: Well, she can’t go back home. And that sort of makes it difficult to do much of anything. She has to stay around. These are people which she can associate with because of their abilities and they are the ones she became friendly with. I’m certain that someone like her or Raven, who came from fairly different type backgrounds than the rest of the Titans, once they get to know other people will start associating with them. Certainly in Kory’s case, maybe not with Raven, who is very very shy. But I think the proximity has made them friends, rather than deliberating setting up a friendship because of accidental meeting.
A 2005 commission from Eduardo Barreto.
Titans In Love: Dick Grayson & Starfire
It started with a (now-classic) kiss in the pages of New Teen Titans #2 . In an attempt to learn English, Starfire absorbed the language by planting a wet one on the Boy Wonder. Initially denying his feelings, Robin realized how much he loved Starfire when her life was threatened by Blackfire during an outer-space adventure ( New Teen Titans #23-25, New Teen Titans Annual #1 ). In the heat of the battle, Robin’s burgeoning feelings for Starfire became obvious. The couple proved a perfect match, as Starfire’s uninhibited personality offered a fitting contrast to Robin’s cool demeanor.
The pair remained a solid couple, even as Dick grappled with his own identity issues. Eventually finding his own path as Nightwing, his relationship with Starfire deepened. But the couple faced their greatest challenge when Starfire was forced into an arranged marriage to quell a Tamaranean civil uprising. While Starfire saw this as a marriage of state, Dick felt betrayed and left his alien love on Tamaran (New Teen Titans (second series) #15-18 ). Stafire eventually returned to earth, and reconciled with Dick once he learned she did not take the traditional Tamaranean wedding vows (New Teen Titans (second series) #39 ).
Robin starts to sort out his feelings in NEW TEEN TITANS #26 .
The Titans were soon shaken to the core when the evil Wildebeest Society launched a savage Titans Hunt. As tensions grew, the shape-shifter Mirage even kidnapped and impersonated Starfire, causing strain in her relationship with Nightwing. Impulsively, Dick proposed marriage to the tempestuous Tamaranean, desperately hoping to mend their relationship. The two almost wed, but the ceremony was interrupted by Raven, now reborn as an evil avatar of her father, Trigon (New Titans #99-100 ). Starfire was implanted with a demon “seed” by Raven, which caused her to leave Earth and go on a spiritual journey (New Titans #114  and Showcase ’94 #11 ). Thus, the long-standing relationship of Nightwing and Starfire was at an end, with neither party acquiring much closure.
Starfire found brief happiness in a marriage to the binary-powered alien known as Ph’yzzon (New Titans #127-130 ). But after Ph’yzzon died while trying to protect New Tamaran from the Sun Eater (Final Night Preview ), Starfire found herself single again. Reunited with Nightwing in JLA/Titans #1-3 , the pair agreed to be good friends. Starfire joined the newly reformed Titans for a time, before finally returning to her people in Titans #17-19 . In Titans #19, Starfire and Nightwing finally say goodbye in a poignant scene that puts a cap on their relationship.
Starfire supports Robin in NEW TEEN TITANS #39 .
Starfire and Nightwing became allies again on several teams, including the Outsiders , the Titans  and the JLA . Although they have succumbed to old passions more than once, the pair have decided to remain good friends above all else.
The classic Robin-Starfire was extremely popular in its time, and for good reason. Like any good romance in fiction, the relationship led to character growth for both parties. Both challenged each other, as Kory learned to act less impulsively while Dick opened up emotionally. It was a thrill to discover the different sides of these characters as their love deepened.
New Teen Titans  #2, 16, 23-26, Annual #1, 39
New Teen Titans  #15-18, 39, 99-100, 114
JLA/Titans #1-3 
Titans  #17-19
A 1993 commission by George Pérez, from the collection of Brett Tolino.
Sources for this entry: DC Who’s Who Series, DC Who’s Who Binder Series, The Official Teen Titans Index [published by ICG in 1985], The New Titans Sourcebook [Mayfair Games, 1990], DC Universe Role-Playing Games: Sourcebooks and Manuals [ West End Games], DC Secret Files, supplemented by titanstower.com